The Peace Dividend
As part of its mission to enhance and encourage the discussion and interaction among world leaders, thus creating international quality platforms aimed at solutions, the Hindustan Times, among India's most respected newspapers, recently unveiled The Hindustan Times Leadership Initiative. The Initiative's inaugural conference, 'The Peace Dividend: Progress for India and South Asia', was held in New Delhi in December 2003. Key political and business leaders, strategists and thinkers-including Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister of India, Sonia Gandhi, Congress President, Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Madeleine Albright, former US Secretary of State and Richard Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations-met to discuss and map the economic, strategic and geopolitical future of India and South Asia, and suggest ways of solving South Asia's most trying problems, from kashmir to a general absence of trust. Here Prime Minister Vajpayee first broached the subject of a South Asia monetary union and a regional security council; Gandhi of a South Asian parliament; and Bhutto of how Pakistan must radically rethink its India policy. The conference set the tone for much that transpired a few weeks later in Islamabad: a historic meeting between Vajpayee and President Pervez Musharraf that initiated a crucial thaw in Indo-Pak relations and encouraged hopes for a progressive and productive future South Asia, home to a quarter of mankind. This volume is a record of history in the making. A 75-year-old institution, The Hindustan Times Group is one of India's most respected media conglomerates. Publishers of the leading daily newspapers-the Hindustan Times in English and Hindustan in Hindi-their online edition, H is ranked by Forbes among the top ten newspaper websites in the world.